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Kanishka Nilaweera

Research Officer

Research Interests

The prevalence of obesity has significantly increased over the last century, and more recently, has tripled since 1975, affecting over 650 million adults in 2016. I am interested in understanding how we gain weight, and develop obesity. Using this information, we seek to create dietary interventions that can reduce or reverse weight gain. To this end, we are exploring how different macronutrients affect the connection between the gut and its associated microbes, and the deeper internal tissues such as the adipose tissue (where fat is stored) and the brain, which together controls body weight.

Current Projects





1998-2002: Ph.D. Neuroscience, University of Aberdeen, UK.
1993-1998: BSc Upper Second Class (Division 1) Honours in Genetics, University of Aberdeen, UK.

Sarina Kajani , Sean Curley, Marcella E O'Reilly, Xiaofei Yin, Eugene T Dillon, Weili Guo, Kanishka N Nilaweera, Lorraine Brennan , Helen M Roche, Fiona C McGillicuddy. Sodium salicylate rewires hepatic metabolic pathways in obesity and attenuates IL-1β secretion from adipose tissue: The implications for obesity-impaired reverse cholesterol transport. Mol Metab. 2022;56:101425. doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2021.101425.

Nychyk O, Barton W, Rudolf AM, Boscaini S, Walsh A, Bastiaanssen TFS, Giblin L, Cormican P, Chen L, Piotrowicz Y, Davina Derous , Áine Fanning, Xiaofei Yin, Jim Grant, Silvia Melgar, Lorraine Brennan, Sharon E Mitchell, John F Cryan , Jun Wang , Paul D Cotter, John R Speakman, Kanishka N Nilaweera*. Protein quality and quantity influence the effect of dietary fat on weight gain and tissue partitioning via host-microbiota changes. Cell Report, 2021, 11;35(6):109093.

Boscaini S, Cabrera-Rubio R, Speakman JR, Cotter PD, Cryan JF, Nilaweera KN*. Dietary α-lactalbumin alters energy balance, gut microbiota composition and intestinal nutrient transporter expression in high-fat diet-fed mice. British Journal of Nutrition. 2019;121(10):1097-1107.

Gough R, Cabrera Rubio R, O'Connor PM, Crispie F, Brodkorb A, Miao S, Hill C, Ross RP, Cotter PD, Nilaweera KN, Rea MC. Oral Delivery of Nisin in Resistant Starch Based Matrices Alters the Gut Microbiota in Mice. Front Microbiol. 2018;9:1186.